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Advances in E-learning-Experiences and Methodologies

Philisophical

Philisophical and Epistemological Basis for Building a Quality Online Training Methodology But the main problem which our e-learning initiatives often face is the total lack of a suitable method for their development. When we speak of the “second generation” of e-learning we are referring to a strategic approach of the training model required by the entity implementing it. This strategy determines the “what” and the “for what,” but only the development of an appropriate methodology will make it possible to develop “how” the pre-established objectives will be achieved. But is it really true that no methodology for online training has been designed after all these years? Well, an analysis of a good part of the training initiatives and even the specialized literature certainly seems to show this. On the one hand, if we focus on a purely technocentric model, in which the addressee gains access to knowledge andinteracts” with it without any other mediation, there is no method with educational ends and the most we can affirm is whether there has been (or not) a good sequencing and organization of the information and whether or not the student has been able to respond suitably to some test items that prove that this information has been acquired, but not whether real training has taken place. Thus, no matter how much we theorize over these aspects, we will not be going in the right direction in our quest for a training method. Moreover, if we look at other initiatives based on predominantly vertical human interaction (student-teacher-student), we find that there is no substantial change with respect to certain face-to-face contexts, which leads us to the same problems as in face-to-face teaching without, on the other hand, being able to make good use of the advantages of a completely different interaction and communication model. It would in any case be a similar model to that of tutoring in traditional distance education, which differs considerably from the paradigm we are seeking for e-learning. Finally, if we analyze initiatives and studies on learning communities, a key concept for defining the educational model for many e-learning interventions and about which pages and pages have been written, we will discover that these communities favor a high degree of interaction and communication, but we will not be able to avoid a certain feeling of anarchy and loss of time in most of these collective groups. To use Kantian terms, there are many theses and antitheses, but few syntheses and above all there is still great difficulty in determining who has attained certain training objectives and to what degree. Furthermore, we lack a certain criterion of authority (in the Latin sense of the term auctoritas) which makes it difficult to select the best syntheses of the common task because there is a belief (generally naïve) that in these communities a final synthesis of knowledge per se is produced, when what usually happens is that, when this does occur, each member contributes his/her view of the problem, but neither a conclusion nor a consensus is reached on it. This is so because although e-learning environments “transform the social interaction space, … a deeper understanding of the ‘inside’ of the collaborative learning processes is still missing” (Cecez-Kecmanovic & Webb, 2000). Of course, learning communities, especially when made up of qualified adult individuals, are instruments with high educational capacity thanks to the possibilities of interaction and communication and their potentiality for favoring contexts of critical and active construction of knowledge. However, the problem of learning communities, at least in the shape they have taken in a good part of prior experience, lies in their excessively “democratic” approach. Favoring a cognitive and social presence in these communities is not enough. In order to be able to design, direct, and nurture interaction in a learning community, a strong teaching presence is necessary. This does not have to affect the open and critical nature of these communities; what is more, the key factor for success in these communities will lie in the teacher’s ability (as in face-to-face teaching) to create a suitable climate that will favor the setting

Philisophical and Epistemological Basis for Building a Quality Online Training Methodology up of a genuine learning community, one that is perfectly monitored and well-constructed (Garrison & Anderson, 2003, 2005). Thus, we have contexts, we have interaction models and, of course, technology, but we lack methods for the development of quality training initiatives. A method is nothing more than a guide or instructions as to the road to follow to reach certain objectives. In this case, the method has to be understood in a three-fold sense: first, as the set of instructions and strategies offered to the teacher in order to achieve the learning objectives; second, analogous rules must exist for the correct acquisition of the contents on the part of the student (who should also have a method); finally, since e-leaning favors social knowledge building and social learning is by far the most significant of all those that exist, a method is needed to regulate social interaction with an educational purpose, especially when we are in a “non-natural” context such as that of virtual learning environments. ConSTRUCTiViSm aS a GoaL, But not As A method One of the terms most used in relation to e-learning (to the point that its original meaning has become completely lost and it is now used gratuitously) is “constructivism,” as a synonym of prestige, careful methodology, and good practice. This expression can be found in essays on methodological approaches or theories for online training, in the explanation of the instructional design of an initiative, in the conception of a learning object or even (surprisingly) to advertise the virtues of a software tool addressed to online training. The problem is that constructivism is not a method, nor even a theory, but rather an explanatory framework (Coll et al., 2005) which tells us that de facto learning occurs in a social, collective context and is the fruit of construction beyond the solitary consciousness of the individual. Actually, the ideas of Vygotsky (Vygotsky & Cole, 1978), those of Bruner (Bruner, 1997, 1998) and even those of Dewey (1933, 1938) form part of an ideological and philosophical context developed during the 20th Century in opposition to the methodic individualism and transcendental philosophies of consciousness that were developed up to the 19 th Century and which had their last great exponent in Hegelian idealism. Philosophical approaches in accordance with this presuppose a new type of rationality that replaces an idealist paradigm with another of dialogical, communicative, and social rationality which we can find in key thinkers of the last century such as Gadamer, Apel, and Ortega y Gasset. Thus, constructivism explains, according to the ideological presuppositions of its time, how knowledge is constructed in the human mind. This does not presuppose the existence of an implicit method, or that this explanatory framework can provide us with this method by itself. In simple terms, thanks to cognitivist and constructivist thinkers, we know that the cognitive process takes place in a certain way, which does not mean that they have told us how to get our students to acquire the competencies and skills we program in a learning initiative. This is the difference between an explanation and a method: knowing what has happened (and even knowing why) and knowing how to make it happen again, adapting it to predetermined learning circumstances. Therefore we may ask: What does constructivism offer us? What is it good for? The thesis here defended postulates that constructivism can be considered as a goal for learning, even as a “table of validation” thanks to which we will be able to verify the solidity of the knowledge acquired by our addressees. At most, it could be a guide or perspective for preparing a training methodology, but in no case must we confuse the end with the means that we intend to use for reaching our objectives. Constructivism is thus not valid as a method, and the need to develop a methodology for online training remains pending. 0

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    Advances in E-Learning: Experiences

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    Table of Contents Preface .........

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    Chapter XIV Open Source LMS Customi

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    Chapter III Philosophical and Epist

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    of constructive and cooperative met

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    Chapter XIV Open Source LMS Customi

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    contents, learning contexts, proces

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    xv these organizations do not get a

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    xvii QuALIty In e-LeArnIng Before t

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    allow that the teachers in training

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    The Role of Institutional Factors i

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    E-Learning Value and Student Experi

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Integrating Technology and Research

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    Chapter IX AI Techniques for Monito

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    AI Techniques for Monitoring Studen

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    Chapter X Knowledge Discovery from

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Knowledge Discovery from E-Learning

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    Chapter XI Swarm-Based Techniques i

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Swarm-Based Techniques in E-Learnin

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    Chapter XII E-Learning 2.0: The Lea

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    E-Learning 2.0 Table 1. Different s

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    E-Learning 2.0 Figure 1. Difference

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    E-Learning 2.0 where the blog is al

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    E-Learning 2.0 process. Along this

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    E-Learning 2.0 forth, and, of cours

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    E-Learning 2.0 Finally, it is impor

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    E-Learning 2.0 never be a hotchpotc

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    E-Learning 2.0 McPherson, K. (2006)

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    E-Learning 2.0 Rosen, A. (2006). Te

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Telematic Environments and Competit

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    Open Source LMS Customization Intro

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    Open Source LMS Customization or ev

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    Open Source LMS Customization compa

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    Open Source LMS Customization Figur

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    Open Source LMS Customization Figur

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    Open Source LMS Customization Figur

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    Open Source LMS Customization Haina

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning p

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning r

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning t

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning m

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning c

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    Evaluation and Effective Learning H

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    Chapter XVI Formative Online Assess

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    Formative Online Assessment in E-Le

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    0 Chapter XVII Designing an Online

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Designing an Online Assessment in E

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Quality Assessment of E-Facilitator

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    Chapter XIX E-QUAL: A Proposal to M

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    E-QUAL is proposed to evaluate the

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    E-QUAL provide competent, service-o

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    E-QUAL 2004; Scalan, 2003) and qual

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    E-QUAL benchmarks address technolog

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    E-QUAL E-learning added two differe

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    E-QUAL Table 6. Application of the

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    E-QUAL Future trends The future of

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    E-QUAL (EQO) co-located to the 4 th

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    E-QUAL SMEs: An analysis of e-learn

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    E-QUAL Meyer, K. A. (2002). Quality

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    Compilation of References Argyris,

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    Compilation of References Biggs, J.

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    Compilation of References Cabero, J

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    Compilation of References Comezaña

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    Compilation of References Downes, S

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    Compilation of References Fandos, M

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    Compilation of References national

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    Compilation of References Hudson, B

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    Compilation of References Harbour.

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    Compilation of References Little, J

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    Compilation of References Metros, S

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    Compilation of References ONeill, K

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    Compilation of References Preece, J

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    Compilation of References Sadler, D

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    Compilation of References Shin, N.,

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    Compilation of References tional Co

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    Compilation of References Vermetten

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    Compilation of References Yu, F. Y.

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    About the Contributors Juan Pablo d

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    About the Contributors part: “An

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    About the Contributors María D. R-

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    About the Contributors Applications

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    Index e-learning tools, automated p

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    Socrates 55 Sophists 55 student-foc

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